NGN targeted my mother, says church

Phone-hacking victim Charlotte Church has spoken of how she decided not to go ahead with a courtroom battle against the News of the World’s publishers when she realised the corporation would make her relive all the painful things they had written about her.

Phone-hacking victim Charlotte Church has spoken of how she decided not to go ahead with a courtroom battle against the News of the World’s publishers when she realised the corporation would make her relive all the painful things they had written about her.

The singer and her family settled their claims against News Group Newspapers (NGN) for £600,000 (€710,000) today.

In an interview with the Independent she spoke of the “horrifying moment” she realised the corporation’s trial strategy.

Church said: “They were going to go after the most vulnerable person – my mother.

“They were going to put her through the indignity of repeated psychological evaluation, make her go back in time, relive everything.

“I wanted this to go the whole way. But it was made impossible at the end in terms of the collateral damage and what they were going to put my mother and my family through.”

She added that she did not believe the company was sorry, “only sorry they got caught”.

She added: “If we’d gone to trial, they were never going to make it about hacking. They were going to make it about everything else. Divide and conquer, weaken our position and do exactly as they’d done to us before.”

Church said taking them to trial became increasingly less about money and more about making her point.

She said: “I almost felt a responsibility as a citizen that I had to go through with it.

“I wanted everyone to know as much as possible about their wrongdoing. And I wanted the process to be made easier for those who came after me.”

In a separate interview Church said she knew it would have been “really difficult” to have fought NGN in court.

Church told the Guardian: “You are fighting a massive corporation with endless resources, a phenomenal amount of power and it is just made really difficult.”

She said that at the height of her fame, the press “totally immersed themselves” in her life, and she doubted those closest to her as she thought it must have been them who were tipping the tabloids off.

Church said she did not know how much former News of the World editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks really knew about phone hacking, adding: “But looking at their positions as editor of the News of the World, the other being the head of the umbrella company, I think they behaved very irresponsibly and I think they put a lot of people at risk.”

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